Clarets midfielder Jeff Hendrick is out to prove people wrong
Sean Dyche’s side have been unfairly labelled as a ‘long ball’ team for much of their stay in the Premier League and the Republic of Ireland international is hoping to prove those that have pointed the finger and cast such assertions wrong.
Burnley’s impressive winner against Everton at Goodison Park will go some way to allaying the accusations as the visitors strung together 24 passes in the build up which involved nine outfield players.
Only Manchester City have pieced together more passes in a passage of play leading to a goal this term with 31 - when Fabian Delph added salt to Crystal Palace’s wounds at the Etihad.
Hendrick was at the end of the move, dropping a shoulder to side-step Morgan Schneiderlin from Stephen Ward’s pass before stroking the ball past Jordan Pickford with his right foot.
“We get branded with being a long ball team and there will be times like that but we always pass and move, penetrate and create something,” said Hendrick. “That’s what we’ve done.
“People have branded us with one style of playing but I think we’re slowly proving them wrong and showing we can score all sorts of goals.
“We’ve got confidence in the group from what we’ve done last year. We’ve proved everyone wrong and this year we’re doing it again and stepping on.
“We’ve got a great group here, everyone is fighting hard and working hard every day in training. We go in to every match wanting to get a result and I think that’s showing.
“Hopefully we can slowly change the perception that people have of us. I think we’ve played some great football this year.
“We get called a long ball team but we don’t mind that; we’ve got confidence in the group and we just want to keep that going.”
Hendrick scored for the first time in 27 appearances in all competitions against the Toffees and now the former Derby County midfielder is hopeful that he can start finding the net more frequently.
“It was a great cross for the goal,” he said. “Wardy has done great, pulled it back to me and luckily it went in.
“It’s hard to think back but it’s definitely the best at Burnley.
“I’ve been told that there was 20-odd passes and nearly everyone touched the ball so I was happy to be on the end of it.
“The lads worked the ball well from side to side and then there was a great switch across. Thankfully I was on the end of it and it was a great goal.
“I’m happy to score goals and I want to score more this year. That gets me off the mark and I’ll try and get more.”
Hopefully we can slowly change the perception that people have!